Where Should You Have Your Engagement Photos Taken?
So you’ve booked a photographer for an engagement session and you're excited. You can't wait to use the best pictures on your save-the-date cards and show all your family and friends. There's just one problem: you're not sure where to have this shoot (and the backyard is definitely not an option). Here are my recommendations for the top five locations and types of venues in our area:
1. Cape May, NJ
While there are plenty of beaches and beautiful coastal areas in NJ, one of the most popular locations in the country for destination weddings is actually Cape May, NJ. The southernmost point in New Jersey, Cape May boasts charming Victorian-era architecture from by-gone days, and several truly unique beaches with gorgeous sunset views. One such location is Sunset Beach, from which you can also take photos at the Cape May Sunset Pavilion. The Cape May Winery is another gorgeous venue for engagement photos and weddings. On a sunny day, or at sunset, the vineyards and gorgeous flowers with rustic buildings make a picture-perfect setting many soon-to-be-brides find hard to resist.
2. Batso Village in Hammonton, NJ
Several of my clients have chosen Batsto Village as the backdrop for their engagement and wedding photos. It's a very scenic area full of historic buildings that allow for some wonderfully artistic images. Batsto allows newly engaged couples and their photographers to use their grounds for free (with a nominal $5 for parking). If you plan on shooting a wedding here, a permit is required and the fee is usually between $60 and $80 dollars.
3. Woodrow Wilson Hall at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ
This National Historic Landmark building is a breathtaking property. It appeared in the 1980 film classic Annie, featured as the home of “Daddy Warbucks." This home provides beautiful photographic opportunities inside as well as outside. There are formal gardens and, of course, no trip to this landmark would be complete without a photo taken in front of the famous “Annie staircase.” There’s only one catch to shooting here, though: the bride or groom must be university alumni in order to use this space for a photography session.
4. The Boardwalk at Asbury Park
If you love classic landmarks and recognizable attractions, the Boardwalk at Asbury Park is the perfect location for your engagement photo shoot. Popular areas include the Convention Hall/Paramount Theater, Asbury Lands and the Wonder Bar, and there are plenty of oceanfront views for capturing stunning photos. The wonderful part of taking photos in Asbury Park is the blend of the old, the new, and the coastal. It’s very appealing to young, modern couples who want something just a little different from the norm.
5. Various Vineyards Throughout Southern New Jersey
While vineyards can be a very specific and personal category, there sure are plenty to choose from in South Jersey. You can really capture some amazing photos in the idyllic settings created by vineyards and wineries, which lend themselves perfectly to feelings of romance and bliss. Most of these venues are very accommodating to couples and photographers, and they are also becoming a very popular location for weddings as they can tailor your experience to feel upscale and refined or laid-back and rustic. Along with Cape May Winery (mentioned above), some other beautiful locations in South Jersey include:
- Hawk Haven Winery in Rio Grande, NJ
- Heritage Vineyards in Mullica Hill, NJ
- Sharrott Winery in Hammonton, NJ
- Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City, NJ
- Valenzano Winery in Shamong, NJ
- Auburn Road Vineyards in Pilesgrove, NJ
- and Coda Rossa Winery in Franklinville, NJ
just to name a few!
Take Your Time Deciding
Don't rush the decision — be sure to scout out the perfect venue for you. The one that feels right is usually the best fit. No matter where you decide to have your postcard-worthy engagement photos taken, the right photographer will make sure they're tasteful, that they capture the emotion and excitement you feel, and that they take your breath away.
For more information on what to look for when picking a photographer, check out this blog post, called The Importance of Choosing a Trusted Photography Partner.
And when you're ready to start thinking about making arrangements for the big day, check out this post, called Inside Tips from a Wedding Photographer on Booking Your Wedding Photography Package.